Five U.S. House Democrats on Monday called for a federal investigation into the environmental impact of a U.S. Postal Service contract to buy new gas-powered delivery trucks, which has sparked fresh calls for firing embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.\r\n\r\n\u0022Postal vehicles serve a public purpose... and must do so in an environmentally sound manner.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We write to request that the Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiate an investigation into the Postal Service\u0026#039;s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), particularly the filing of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the next generation delivery vehicle (NGDV),\u0022 states the lawmakers\u0026#039; letter.\r\n\r\n\u0022The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the White House Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ), and numerous environmental stakeholders have raised concerns that the Postal Service did not meet its NEPA obligations during its contracting process for the NGDV,\u0022 the letter notes. \u0022These significant concerns warrant an investigation by the OIG.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe five Democrats pressuring USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb to launch a probe are Reps. Gerry Connolly (Va.), Jared Huffman (CaIif.), Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), and Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.\r\n\r\nTheir letter to Whitcomb highlights that the controversial contract with Oshkosh Defense could lead the USPS to acquire up to 165,000 vehicles over a decade—which conflicts with President Joe Biden\u0026#039;s proposed transition to zero-emission government vehicles.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022The Oversight Committee strongly supports the purchase of electric vehicles for the Postal Service\u0026#039;s fleet, which would significantly cut emissions and position the Postal Service as an environmental leader,\u0022 says the letter. \u0022Given the potential environmental impact of the NGDV contract, it is crucial that the Postal Service conduct a robust environmental analysis prior to moving forward.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Postal vehicles serve a public purpose—helping to deliver the mail six days a week across the United States—and must do so in an environmentally sound manner,\u0022 the letter continues. \u0022Given the substantial public interest in this acquisition and the significant deficiencies in the EIS identified by EPA, it is critical that Congress understand whether the Postal Service properly met its statutory environmental obligations.\u0022\r\n\r\nConcerns and criticism of DeJoy\u0026#039;s plan have mounted over the past month, with opponents calling it \u0022supervillain stuff\u0022 and renewing calls for the USPS board of governors to fire the scandal-plagued postmaster general, who was appointed during the Trump administration.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nConnolly last week led dozens of lawmakers in unveiling the Green Postal Service Fleet Act, a bill that would block DeJoy\u0026#039;s current contract for \u0022gas-guzzling\u0022 trucks by requiring that at least 75% of new USPS vehicles are electric or otherwise emissions-free.\r\n\r\n\u0022Finalization of this contract is yet another willfully shortsighted decision by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that will prevent the Postal Service from reaching its full 21st-century potential,\u0022 Connolly said in a statement.\r\n\r\n\u0022In flagrant contradiction to President Biden\u0026#039;s admirable and ambitious goal to electrify the federal fleet, USPS has tethered itself to a technology that is well on its way to obsolescence—striking a devastating blow to our climate, to our effort to lead the world in green technology, and to our beloved Postal Service,\u0022 Connolly added. \u0022This contract cannot move forward.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhile the Senate this month passed Postal Service reform legislation with bipartisan support, that House-approved, DeJoy-backed bill—which Biden is expected to sign—did not address whether future delivery vehicles are required to be climate-friendly.